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New Knights' (of Columbus) survey outlines Catholic views on host of moral issues (Catholic Caucus)
CNS ^ | October 15, 2008 | Mark Pattison

Posted on 10/15/2008 1:43:20 PM PDT by NYer

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- American Catholic voters in 2008 tend to be more moderate and less liberal than U.S. voters as a whole, according to a survey commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and released Oct. 14.

"A plurality of Catholic voters, 39 percent, are Democrats, and 45 percent describe themselves as moderate. Only 19 percent say they are liberal," the survey said.

The survey was conducted by telephone with 813 self-identified Catholics Sept. 24-Oct. 3 by Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion. Those who identified themselves as practicing Catholics outnumbered nonpracticing Catholics by close to a 2-1 ratio. Interviewers polled 1,733 Americans in all, Catholics and non-Catholics.

On the subject of abortion, 48 percent of all Catholics surveyed said they were "pro-life," while 47 percent said they were "pro-choice," and 5 percent said they were unsure. However, twice as many practicing as nonpracticing Catholics -- 59 percent to 29 percent -- called themselves "pro-life," while 65 percent of nonpracticing Catholics said they were "pro-choice" compared to 36 percent of practicing Catholics.

While more than 90 percent of all Catholics polled said they favored restrictions on abortion, there was less consensus on what kind of restriction should be put in place.

A plurality of 35 percent said they would allow abortion only in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother's life. The survey also found that 26 percent of all Catholics would permit abortion in the first three months of pregnancy, although 17 percent said abortion should never be permitted and 11 percent would allow it only to save the life of the mother.

Speaking to reporters at an Oct. 14 Washington press conference from Rome, where he was attending the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible as an auditor, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said the desire of Catholics and Americans to place restrictions on abortion "labels the 'pro-choice' designation obsolete." He added that the term "pro-choice" has been "a particularly polarizing designation."

A plurality of registered Catholic voters, 36 percent, said homosexual couples should be able to form civil unions. The remaining 64 percent were split evenly -- 32 percent to 32 percent -- on gay couples being able to legally marry or such couples getting no legal recognition.

Although the poll results indicated that 68 percent of Catholics would favor some kind of legal recognition for gay couples in terms of either same-sex unions or legal marriage, "I would not read it that way," Anderson said. He had earlier cited statistics that showed that 70 percent of Americans were against homosexual marriage, with 38 percent for granting no legal recognition, plus 32 percent in favor of allowing gays to form civil unions.

The Knights are funding the U.S. bishops' efforts to support traditional marriage, including development of an Internet video, marketing through social networking Web sites and the redistribution of the bishops' statement on marriage, "Between Man and Woman: Questions and Answers About Marriage and Same-Sex Unions."

Nearly half of all Catholic voters, 49 percent, said they would "definitely" vote for a candidate who defined marriage as being between one man and one woman, yet 45 percent would "definitely" vote for a candidate who supports civil unions for any two adults who want to live together.

In terms of party identification, 39 percent of the Catholics polled said they were Democrats, 30 percent said they were Republicans and 29 percent were Independents. When it comes to ideology, 45 percent identified themselves as moderate, 36 percent as conservative and 19 percent as liberal -- although 26 percent of the registered nonpracticing Catholics called themselves liberal, 7 percentage points above the figure for all Catholics, and 29 percent of the nonpracticing registered Catholic voters described themselves as conservative, 7 percentage points lower than the overall Catholic figure.

The economy was considered the top issue by 59 percent of registered Catholic voters. No other issue reached double digits: 9 percent said the war in Iraq was the top issue; 6 percent each, government spending and health care; 5 percent, terrorism; 3 percent, immigration; and 2 percent, jobs. Twelve percent of those surveyed mentioned other issues.

The poll found that 55 percent of Catholics say they would "definitely" vote for a candidate who believes that life begins at conception, while 20 percent said they would vote for such a candidate although with some reservations, and 19 percent said they would "definitely not" vote for such a candidate.

At least half of all registered Catholic voters and registered practicing Catholic voters say they would vote for a candidate who will:

-- "Uphold religious liberty and freedom of conscience."

-- "Work to solve global warming."

-- "Stand for the Christian principles on which this country was founded."

-- "Support vouchers to allow students to attend private, public or religious schools."

-- "Maintain that life begins at conception."

-- "Support universal health care."

-- "Be committed to success in the war in Iraq."

-- "Make government funding for the poor a top priority."

At least half of all registered Catholics said they would vote for a candidate who "supports embryonic stem-cell research," while more than half of registered practicing Catholics said they would vote for a candidate who would "uphold marriage only between a man and a woman."

With the exception of the Iraq war and health care, the concepts Catholics were asked to comment on in the poll did not register on the list of top issues. Anderson said these were "more fundamental and enduring issues" that "resonate more strongly with Catholics."

A significant majority of Catholics, 73 percent, said they believed the country was headed in the wrong direction; only 21 percent said they thought it was headed in the right direction, and 6 percent said they were not sure. By a similar margin, 72 percent said they were mostly discouraged about the direction of the country and 23 percent said they were mostly encouraged; 5 percent were unsure.

Sixty-six percent of Catholics were mostly upset about the direction of the country, compared to 26 percent who said they were mostly energized.

According to the survey, the Knights calculated that 65 percent of Catholics worship "regularly," with the breakdown as follows: more than once a week, 8 percent; once a week, 36 percent; and once or twice a month, 21 percent.

The survey had a margin of error ranging from plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all Americans surveyed up to plus or minus 6.5 percentage points for registered nonpracticing Catholic voters.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: abortion; knights; kofc

1 posted on 10/15/2008 1:43:21 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Interesting results.

2 posted on 10/15/2008 1:43:58 PM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer

“48 percent of all Catholics surveyed said they were “pro-life,” while 47 percent said they were “pro-choice,”

Almost half of Catholics go against basic tenets of their religion? REPENT!

3 posted on 10/15/2008 1:50:06 PM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: wolfcreek

I sometimes think people are just stupid.

4 posted on 10/15/2008 2:38:38 PM PDT by netmilsmom ( Obama And Osama both have friends who bombed the Pentagon)
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To: wolfcreek

Discouraging, isn’t it? How can they even call themselves Catholic?

5 posted on 10/15/2008 2:53:28 PM PDT by Hammer-of-Heretics (Hammer)
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To: Hammer-of-Heretics

Same as many Jews.

There are cultural atheistic Jews and there are religious Jews. Same with us.

My inlaws and a few of the older folks at our church are of the liberal Democratic moral equivalency generation which is starting to become extinct. The younger generation is starting to become more conservative and more attached to the Church and its teachings.

I’m between BBoomers and Gen X and have tendencies of both. But I am resolutely conservative in most matters including Church teachings. The aging 60s generation is finishing as a power or influence. No more Wiccan nuns or guitar Masses or revolutionary theology Priests.

We are returning the kneelers to the pews, the communion rails to the churches and the sanctuary to the front and center.

6 posted on 10/15/2008 6:43:27 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: wolfcreek

How do you think it makes the faithful/orthodox Catholics feel. Disheartened for one emotion.
I learned the other night that a consecrated religious engaged in our Parish to coordinate Adult Faith Formation as well as a dear friend of mine’s brother who is a diocesan priest are both strong zerObama supporters.
When I asked the fellow who told me about the religious sister how this was possible, he said she told him she was ‘anti-war’.
I don’t know why I’m surprised, but it is very discouraging and it gives scandal to unsuspecting and under-informed Catholics and others in the culture.

7 posted on 10/15/2008 9:04:16 PM PDT by OriginalChristian (If you can't get Life right, nothing else you think or say matters....)
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To: OriginalChristian

It appears to be, *Obama first, everything else second*.

If he’s not the anti-Christ, the real one should take notice.

8 posted on 10/16/2008 5:14:38 AM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: NYer

This shows us that the Catholic Church needs good preaching on moral issues. And Bishops/priests who will take the moral stand and not be swayed by being unpopular or some other wimpy reason.

9 posted on 10/16/2008 7:29:37 AM PDT by Eternally-Optimistic (anything is possible)
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To: Eternally-Optimistic

The Church is very loud and clear on this issue. The 47% that disagree are just there to warm a spot on the pew and fulfill their Sunday “obligation.”

10 posted on 10/16/2008 7:54:58 AM PDT by al_c (Avoid the consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity)
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To: Eternally-Optimistic

The bishops refusal to use discipline to teach the blindingly simple concept that baby butchery isn’t cool has every thing to do with this awful state of affairs.


11 posted on 10/16/2008 8:36:24 AM PDT by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed Says Keep the Faith!)
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To: OriginalChristian
“I don’t know why I’m surprised, but it is very discouraging and it gives scandal to unsuspecting and under-informed Catholics and others in the culture”.

To put it simply; the Church is distancing itself from the cross.

“The Antichrist is the anti-cross”
—Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.

From: Family Retreat: The Devil - Yes, He Does Exist.

12 posted on 11/09/2008 5:56:36 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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